The Skinny Jeans Debate (Thick Girls & Men: Listen Up!)

In the last few weeks there has been some major dissension among HuffPo readers regarding the topic of Skinny Jeans. Which body types can and cannot pull them off, when they are appropriate, which types of people they're appropriate on...the argument over who should and shouldn't wear these jeans goes as far as age, sexual orientation, nationality, occupation and even race! It's really intense when you think about it - that a style of denim can cause so much controversy.

Of course, being the fiend for controversy that I am, and being the lover of skinny jeans that I am, I had to jump in.

There seem to be two main arguments when it comes to skinny jeans. One is that thick girls cannot wear them (thick="plus sized", so I'm going to say over a size 8), and the second is that men cannot wear them (unless they're gay). I am here to make a rebuttal on both accounts.

Let's begin with skinny jeans on "thick" girls (the ones with booty, hips and thighs). Before I delve in I'm going to ask you to do something that has probably never been asked of you before: try and separate the disdain that you have for bigger girls in skinny jeans from the disdain that you have for bigger girls in general. Don't get defensive. My guess is that people who are attracted to girls over a size 8 don't have a problem seeing them in skinny jeans. Simply ask yourself, "do I not like the way skinny jeans look on thick girls because the jeans don't look good, or because I'm not interested in seeing curves accentuated in that kind of way?" I think for many, it's the latter - so we automatically jump to the assumption that thicker girls should wear a different kind of jeans that hide their curves.

So, assuming that little exercise had any impact on you at all, and you're now able to take an objective look at thick girls in skinny jeans, let's take a moment to check these women (and their skinny jeans) out in all their glory:
If this doesn't convince you that bigger/thicker/plus size/whatever women can (and should) wear skinny jeans, then clearly you've got something else going on. In my previous post defending skinny women, y'all jumped to the bigger girl's defense, and in somebody else's post declaring the skinny jean universally flattering, you attack the bigger girl for trying to get in on the action. C'mon.

If you're a thick girl and you're interested in wearing skinny jeans but not sure how to approach the situation, that will be my next post, so stay tuned.

Moving onto men. Many people think that skinny jeans can only be worn by men who fit into one or more of the following categories: gays, rockstars, hipsters, ages 16-25, super skinny men, gays, artists, Europeans, or gays. While skinnies do look fabulous on these folks, I assure you the list does not stop there. I'm going to be real with you here though and point out that not all men can venture into this land. First, the interest in skinny jeans has to be there. You have to be comfortable in your body, and know that taking it down a few sizes (which most men out there should probably do regardless) might make you feel more exposed. This is normal - and just like us women - most of the insecurities you have are probably in your head. With that said, while I do support curve-hugging skinnies on a woman - the curves of a male are not quite as sensual as the curves of a female, if you catch my drift. You don't have to be Mick Jagger skinny or have abs like Mario Lopez - but in order for men to pull off the skinny/slim jeans look correctly, you have to think about your body in terms of proportions. Skinny jeans can be worn on most body types - thin, stocky, ripped, or even a little belly/love handle - but if your midsection is super out of proportion with the rest of your body, either you have to compensate with some seriously fresh personal style up top, or skinny jeans are not for you.

Now that that part is out of the way, let's move onto the benefits of skinny jeans on men - starting by defining what I'm talking about. I do not mean this:
But rather something like this:
Skinny jeans for men should sit below the waist, they're slimmer through the hip and thigh, they have a narrow shape in the leg, and they're slightly tapered at the bottom. What can skinny jeans do for you?? Here's how a skinny/slim fitting jean can elevate YOUR look as a man:
- You'll look less like a slob, and for a lot of dudes that can be a very good thing.
- They create a cleaner line with shoes: loafers, high top sneakers, low top sneakers, nice Italian leather shoes. What's that mean? In guy speak, they fit nicer with them - there's less material hanging all over the place and less bunchiness. It's like Legos, they lock into each other better.
- Wearing skinnies gives the illusion that you know what's in, and that you care. This might make your lazy, schleppy guy friends think you're gay...but guess what, the ladies will love it and that's what matters. And if you're a guy who's attracted to guys and not girls, you probably already know the rules, so this article doesn't even apply to you.
- Forget about wearing slacks every time you dress up - skinny jeans are a great alternative for a going out look.

So you see, no need to be gay or a rockstar or European or even under 25 to wear these jeans. Intimidated? You don't have to go skinny immediately! Go to a place like Levi's or H&M that has different gradations of skinniness for you to experiment with. I know you'll be pleased. Bring a girl for moral support, she'll steer you in the right direction (believe me I've helped many a dude along this journey).

The skinnies are here to stay (at least for a few more decades), so everybody (thick girls and men included!) might as well partake in the glory. You know it's a worthy cause when the queen bee of judging (that would be me) is telling you to take a step back from your cynical, negative attitude toward something and embrace the unexpected. When it comes to this cut of denim, please live and let live, open your minds to the glory of The Skinny, and don't forget to look both ways while you strut across the street.

Happy Shopping.



Julie Diamond said...

Thanks Mihal, a relief to know since I'm one of those girls with a bootie and curves.

Unknown said...

I like what you call skinny jeans for men. They're not overly tight. Also, I'm with you that bigger women can wear skinny jeans. The women in your pictures looked great!

David said...

The Best overall article on skinnies that I've seen. I grew up in the seventies when they were all the rage. I'm glad that they've made a comeback along with the mop hair styles on men. I'm 60, I wear skinnies, hoddies, V neck T's, and chucks. I'm in shape and have more compliments that I know what to do with. I'm one hip grandpa. Only my wife objects but then she's 5'2" and 240 lbs. Probably not for her now by I'll share my skinnies with her once she can fit into them :-). They encourage me to watch my diet and stay in shape. That's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Love this post i just bought two pairs of skinny jeans and i was soooo scared because im well curvy ( big boobs big thighs) and it makes my thighs and butt look a little bigger. Im 198 and after losing 30lbs im ready to try new trends!

Cathy Anderson said...

I really was surprised at how nice the jean fit. Very nice, comfy, true to size, and the perfect amount of stretch. It just wasn't the color I was looking for, but I would definitely try this brand. My first time, but maybe I will get Barely There 4J56